Mobile Processing Lab MPL-LG-2

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Revision as of 08:05, 1 June 2015 by LittleBlueGaming (talk | contribs) (Updated rate boost numbers in line with stock 1.0.2 testing. Added information about 6x data boost for experiments done on EVA. Clarified when a scientist must be in the lab vs. somewhere else on-board.)
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Mobile Processing Lab MPL-LG-2
Part image
Laboratory by
Integrated Integrals

Radial size Large
Cost (total) 4 000.00 Funds
Mass (total) 3.50 t
Drag 0.2-0.3
Max. Temp. 2200 K
Impact Tolerance 6 m/s
Research Advanced exploration.png Advanced Exploration
Unlock cost 10 400 Funds
Since version 0.23
Part configuration LargeCrewedLab
Crew capacity (maximum) Crew
(required) Crew
Researching energy 5/s ⚡/s
Processing energy {{{processing energy}}} ⚡/s
Field of View (min) 17 °
(max) 63 °
Detection 0 %
Enhancable No
Modes Terrain

The Mobile Processing Lab MPL-LG-2 allows scientific data to be generated and transmitted based on experimental data, to store experiments and to reuse the Mystery Goo™ Containment Unit and SC-9001 Science Jr. after transmitting or removing their result. The lab also has the capability to slowly process data obtained from experiments and convert it into additional science.

The lab has a maximum occupancy of two Kerbals. The lab must be crewed by at least one scientist in order to begin processing data from experiments, but research can be started, stopped, and transmitted even if all scientists are in other modules. Additional scientists on board will contribute to processing data, including ones that are located elsewhere on the vessel. Note that it is not a command module; any craft it's a part of will need a probe body or command pod to be piloted. It starts unmanned by default, but crew members can be added in the Crew tab before launch. The Lab does provide portraits and IVA as of the 1.0 update. While processing, the module also consumes a lot of electricity.



The lab module can store experiment results like any other manned part. It does not need any Kerbals on board to do this. It is unique in that it can store multiple copies of the same experiment, which is not possible on command pods.

The Lab is quite fragile, withstanding only impacts up to 6 m/s. It takes ridiculous amounts of parachutes to land it safely. Other approaches to the problem trade in a few chutes for lander legs, or tiny engines and a minuscule fuel supply to pull dampen the impact. If the lab doesn't store any experiments and crew, it is of course possible to simply ditch it and let it crash.

Generating Science over time

Any science result stored anywhere on a vessel with a lab can be used to produce data. Up to 500 units of data can be stored in a lab module. If the buffer of data is full, the lab will fail to process the experiments but the results are not lost. If one or more scientists are on board the vessel, the lab may be used to perform research, which will consume a small percentage of the processed data every day to produce 5 times its value in science. This process drains a significant amount of electric charge while active. The rate at which the data is converted into science is determined by the amount of stored data, the number of scientists on the craft, and their respective levels. The process continues in the background even when the vessel with the lab is not in focus. Up to 500 units of science can be stored before the results must be manually transmitted back to Kerbin. If the buffer storage of science fills up, work stops until transmission. Stored science cannot be claimed if the lab is recovered, it must be transmitted, and as such a lab is useless without an antenna. An experimental result that has been used to produce data can still be transmitted or recovered on Kerbin in the conventional way, and it can be processed again in a different lab to produce more data.

To generate data, right-click the lab or pod where the experiments are stored and select Review Data, then select the Process Data option until the lab's data capacity is full. At this point the experiment results can be removed for later recovery, they are no longer needed to process the data and generate science in the lab.

Data Value

An experimental result produces an amount of data based on its own relative value and the location of the lab at the time the data is generated. A lab on the surface of a body produces more data per experiment than one in orbit, and if the experiment is from the same body as the one the lab is orbiting or landed on the data value is greater. The exception to this is Kerbin, a lab landed on Kerbin produces less data than one in orbit of Kerbin.

Each unique experiment result can produce data for a given lab module only once, but the same result can be taken to another lab and processed again. Multiple labs on a single vessel don't function as expected as of 1.0.2, it is recommended that each lab should be on a unique vessel. Even after the experiment has been used to generate data, it can be transmitted or returned for its usual science yield.

The lab can store an arbitrary number of experiment results, but only 500 data and 500 generated science. Thus if there are a lot of high-value results stored on the vessel with the lab, not all of them can be processed into data. If the attempt fails due to lack of space, the opportunity is not lost, the result stays in the pod/experiment and it can be processed for data when there is space available.

The data value for an experiment is multiplied by 6 if a scientist runs the experiment manually on EVA, rather than running the experiment while the scientists are on-board.

Data Processing Rate

While the lab is active, the data stored in it is slowly converted into usable science. The amount of science converted per day is proportional to the amount of data stored in the lab. Each scientist on board the vessel contributes to research, including those outside of the lab. The higher a scientist's level, the more research it contributes. The data conversion rate supplied by each level of a given scientist are as follows:

Level Multiplier Rate (Percentage/Day)
☆☆☆☆☆ 1x 0.0135%
★☆☆☆☆ 7x 0.0945%
★★☆☆☆ 12x 0.162%
★★★☆☆ 18x 0.243%
★★★★☆ 23x 0.3105%
★★★★★ 28x 0.378%


Once their science has been either taken or transmitted, the Mystery Goo™ Containment Unit and SC-9001 Science Jr. modules can be reset for reuse by cleaning out these experiments. This can be done in bulk for any such experiments docked to the lab, and saves the trouble of sending a scientist on EVA to manually reset the experiments.

Usage scenarios

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Docking Space-Lab

A lander performs all experiments as usual, but rather than returning home, it docks with a Laboratory in orbit; EVA over all experiments, take/collect data, board Laboratory. The data is now safely stored in the Lab. You may clean out the experiments and re-use the same lander.

It's recommended to have ladders (at least) on the Materials Containers: the margin of error between "close enough to take the data" and "bouncing off" is rather small. It'd be nice if you could touch off all instruments while climbing a single ladder, though this would make for a tall assembly.

Lab Lander

Integrate the Lab in the Lander, do the data gathering and instrument cleaning on-site. No risk of poor kerbals drifting off into space. You may bring enough fuel in order to make several small hops and visit different biomes before you need to re-orbit and dock with a filling station. While convenient, such landers tend to be rather bulky and heavy, though.

Lab Base

A landed lab can create data from experimental results from all over the same body. Using rovers, landers or EVAs results can be gathered into a stationary lab from multiple nearby biomes. A lab on the surface yields the most data from experiments conducted on that body. The lab needs to sit in place for a long time to generate science, and keep in mind (for the Mun especially given its slow rotation) that it's going to be in the shade half the time without solar power, so it may be advisable to land near the pole of the body and/or give it a large power storage.

Product description

No longer are you limited to research facilities only on Kerbin! With the Mobile Processing Lab, you can conduct long-term experiments and ongoing research with the data you collect in the field. Be sure to check back on your scientists from time to time, and transmit the results of their research home! This model is guaranteed to spontaneously combust less than previous models, and also has the equipment necessary to clean out and restore functionality to inoperable experiments.



  • Added possibility to generate Science over time
  • Removed old transmission boost function. Clean experiments function retained.
  • Added IVA models
  • Transmission boost reduced from +50% to +15%
  • Initial release